Pentecost in Acts: Acts 26 Almost Persuaded

Paul was brought before King Agrippa to plead his case. He once again tells his testimony of how he had an encounter with the living, resurrected Jesus. In that encounter, Jesus told Paul what his mission in life would be when he met him on the road to Damascus.

“But rise and stand upon your feet, for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you as a servant and witness to the things in which you have seen me and to those in which I will appear to you, delivering you from your people and from the Gentiles—to whom I am sending you to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’” Acts 26:16-18 ESV

He was testifying of the power of God that enables us to turn from the darkness of sin- anything we do that is against God’s laws and separates us from God. He told everyone he was in contact with about what he had both physically and spiritually experienced, a God who could take eyes that are blind- unable to see God’s ways and truth- and make them see. He spoke of forgiveness from God for the wrongs we have done and being set apart for God’s purposes through faith.

This is all still available to us today. The Holy Spirit continues to move our hearts to desire to know all of what Paul was telling King Agrippa about. We have a choice. King Agrippa did too. But his response was truly a sad one.

“And as he was saying these things in his defense, Festus said with a loud voice, “Paul, you are out of your mind; your great learning is driving you out of your mind…In a short time would you persuade me to be a Christian?”” Acts 26:24, 28 ESV

Paul’s desire was not simply to be free of his chains. His desire was that everyone he came in contact with would know the Jesus he knew. Paul wanted them to experience the relationship with the Holy Spirit he was experiencing. His response was this to the Kings question.

“And Paul said, “Whether short or long, I would to God that not only you but also all who hear me this day might become such as I am—except for these chains.”” Acts 26:29 ESV

This is why I write these things to you. I know from experience the power of God who broke off the chains of sin by which I was held captive. I can tell you the difference of walking in the darkness of my own ways as opposed to walking into the light of God’s path- His ways. Do not be “almost persuaded” to surrender your heart entirely to God! King Agrippa walked away from Paul’s testimony of Jesus that day unchanged. May we see the value of what he spoke and seek out the relationship he described. It is the only way!

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